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Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida

Announces Endorsements

Tampa, FL –  Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida President Susan Smith has released the following statement:

The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida (DPCF) is pleased to announce its first round of endorsements in the 2016 election cycle. We are offering endorsements in races from US Congress to city commission to highlight the champions who will represent the interests of everyday Floridians in the upcoming election.
The endorsement questionnaire covered a wide variety of topics, including charter and voucher school accountability, transportation, gun safety, climate change, and Medicaid expansion. Our caucus is committed to implementing progressive policies at all levels of government as a way to enhance Floridians’ quality of life. This election season is an opportunity for us to spotlight candidates who will carry those policies forward.
We have reviewed the voting records and questionnaires of candidates, and assessed the strength of their campaigns. We do not endorse in every race and our endorsement is a recommendation that indicates a candidate is a progressive champion and that he/she is running a strong and competitive campaign. Recognizing that there may be more than one good choice in a race, DPCF endorsements are non-exclusive. Gerrymandering creates situations where good progressive Democrats must often compete to serve.

We applaud all the Democratic candidates who threw their hats into the ring this cycle. Running for office is a huge undertaking and they are to be commended. Too many seats have gone unchallenged in prior election cycles and we are grateful for our Democratic candidates’ commitment to the political process.

Our endorsed candidates are:

US House of Representatives

Jonathan Chane, Congressional District 18
Tim Canova, Congressional District 23

State Senate
State House
Mitch Ceasar, Broward County Clerk of the Circuit Court

Mitchell Stollberg-Appleyard, City of Oakland Park Commission  

 The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida is an official charter of the Florida Democratic Party.

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Committed To Win

Through the Leadership Expansion to Advance Democrats (LEAD) Task Force, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) signaled that it is serious about examining shortfalls and correcting course in order to win back Florida. State Democrats are ignited by the challenge and have taken up the call for change. The Strategies and Tactics for Electing Progressives, or STEP Report is offered as a plan for implementing that change.

As we developed this report, one theme became prominent across all of our discussions: We must be committed to the long game. It took years for Democrats to lose so much ground in Florida. It will take time to climb back on top.

The premise of the STEP Report is that we must re-think our philosophy, prioritize our resources, and align our activity around the long game.

Without this perspective, it would be easy to write off some STEP recommendations by saying, “We just don’t have the money, it’s not practical.” On the contrary, the STEP recommendations will better leverage our resources by building capacity for greater fundraising power and a stronger grassroots infrastructure.

The strategies and tactics described in this report are based on:

  • Shifting budget priorities to those which strengthen the ability of the FDP to empower, mobilize, and grow the field.
  • Strategically building a bench of candidates aimed for out-year races as well as current cycles. Mentoring candidates in order to develop their capacity to succeed as candidates and leaders.
  • Refusing to accept midterm dropoff as a given. Capitalizing on this cycle’s populist momentum to sustain future voter engagement.
  • Adapting to an evolving media landscape with a broader, coordinated network of messengers. Making the party bigger and better by cultivating a relationship between the FDP and a field network in order to amplify the Democratic voice across the state.

The Democratic Progressive Caucus welcomes dialogue and collaboration with DECs, Clubs, and Caucuses and the FDP in order to move the STEP recommendations forward. We are committed to win.



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